PICTURES AND STORY
By MIKE SMITH
OXFORD, Ohio -- Will Sullivan and the Miami RedHawks overcame a slow start Tuesday to post a come-from-behind 70-63 victory over the Akron Zips on senior night in Millett Hall.
It was the fifth defeat in six games for Akron, which also lost to Miami (57-52 OT) back on Feb. 21. The Zips (18-12, 9-8 MAC) wrap up their regular season Friday at Kent State.
Miami, meanwhile, won its fifth game over the last six outings. The RedHawks (13-17, 8-9 MAC) finish at rival Ohio on Friday.
Sullivan, Miami’s only senior, had just two points and three rebounds at the half as Akron took a 23-17 lead to the locker room. By the final horn, Sullivan had a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds. Point guard Eric Washington, who owned four points at intermission, topped Miami scoring with 16 points, along with six assists and three steals.
Freshman forward Logan McClain helped the RedHawks inside, scoring 10 points and pulling down seven rebounds – four on the offensive glass. Willie Moore also earned 10 points on the night.
Freshman point guard Antino Jackson continued his emergence as a force for Akron, scoring a game-high 17 points on 7-of-15 from the field. Junior forward Reggie McAdams nailed 4-of-5 threes, most in the second half, on the way to 14 points. Sophomore center Isaiah Johnson came up just short of a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
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Miami was good on just 7-of-23 (30.4%) from the field and was a paltry 1-of-10 from distance. The hosts converted 2-of-4 at the charity stripe.
Both teams improved their aim – at least from the field -- in the second period. Akron netted 14-of-28 (50%) overall and 6-of-15 (40%) on threes.
Miami hit 13-of-29 overall and was 1-of-6 from distance in the final stanza.
The big difference came at the foul line, which has been a staple for MU during much of its recent winning stretch. The RedHawks converted 26-of 30 shots at the line over the final 20 minutes, while Akron hit 6-of-12 in the period. The RedHawks also capitalized on UA turnovers, outscoring the visitors 14-5 in points off turnovers after intermission.
A quick 5-0 burst coming out of the break put Akron up by 11 (28-17) following an Isaiah Johnson free throw at 17:52. Two possessions later, officials called a bench technical, sending Sullivan to the line for the first of many RedHawk trips to the stripe. Slowly, but surely, Miami began to chip away.
Washington’s bounce pass assist in traffic set up a Kalif Wright layup to tie the contest at 46-all at 7:24. Reggie McAdams responded with one of his three second half triples to briefly send the Zips back out in front. However, five different players contributed to an 11-0 Miami run that left the hosts with a 57-49 lead at 2:06.
Antino Jackson accounted for the next 10 Akron points. Nyles Evans and McAdams added jumpers. Miami, however, was converting nearly every free throw at the other end, including 13 of its last 14 charity tosses. The closest UA could get down the stretch was 59-54 with 1:10 remaining.